The Guardian • Issue #2080

GLOBAL BRIEFS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2080
Global briefs

ARGENTINA: Right-wing populist candidate Javier Milei has won in the final round of Argentina’s presidential election, defeating Sergio Massa, who defeated Milei in the first round by almost seven points. That result led many to believe that support for Massa from trade unions and Peronist political structures might lead him to victory despite accusations of his party’s economic mismanagement. However, Milei’s position was strengthened by the support of the country’s major centre-right political alliance which came third in the first round, tipping the balance in his favour. Milei and Massa have sharply contrasting economic visions for Argentina. Argentina recently joined the BRICS economic block under current President Fernandez. Massa pledged to solve the country’s deep economic crisis through cooperation with other BRICS countries, proposing to borrow money from the BRICS New Development Bank. Milei was in favour of breaking relations with Brazil and China, among other countries, and promised closer relations with Israel and the US. Milei described himself as an “anarcho-capitalist” and “libertarian”. He prides himself on very conservative social views – for instance, he has proposed ending legal access to abortion in Argentina. Latin America is currently dominated by centre-left presidents in countries like Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Milei’s victory will be a shock to many in the region.

GREECE: More than 25,000 people marched in Athens to mark the 50th anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising which was violently put down by the military dictatorship. Similar commemorations took place in other Greek cities and throughout the world. A Communist Party of Greece (KKE) statement pointed out that the 1973 Polytechnic Uprising was “the culmination of an effort to organise the anti-dictatorship struggle which began the day after its imposition on 3 April, 1967.” To this effort, “the KKE members and cadres devoted all of their energies in conditions of brutal state repression and demanding sacrifices.”

AFGHANISTAN: Opium poppy cultivation and production has dropped 95 per cent in Afghanistan since the Taliban ban, according to a United Nations report. After the US left the country in 2021, Taliban authorities vowed to end illegal drug production, and in April 2022 banned the cultivation of the poppy plant, from which opium and heroin are made. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a statement that the near total contraction of the opiate economy is expected to have far-reaching consequences, as there is an urgent need for assistance for rural communities, accompanied by alternative development support for building an opium-free future. “Today, Afghanistan’s people need urgent humanitarian assistance to meet their immediate needs, to absorb the shock of lost income and save lives,” said Ghada Wally, executive director of UNODC. “And over the coming months Afghanistan is in dire need of strong investment in sustainable livelihoods, to provide Afghan farmers with opportunities away from opium,” she added.

ETHIOPIA: Thousands of people gathered in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa to take part in the 10-kilometre Great Ethiopian Run. Billed as the largest road race in Africa, the event attracted more than 45,000 participants from Ethiopia, other African nations, and around the world, including elite athletes and recreational runners. It was founded 23 years ago to promote running as a healthy activity for all Ethiopians by a renowned athlete Haile Gebrselassie. The run has grown to become a global event, and provides a significant economic boost for Addis Ababa and the country.

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